The Roar
The Roar

Peter Farrar

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Joined April 2020

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Peter's obsession with test match cricket is well known amongst his friends, often leading them to avoid him or quickly change the subject when he begins his analysis. Since 1978 the only Boxing Day test he has missed was when South Africa's return from their ban was washed out at the MCG. His daughters regularly accompany him to the test, retreating to the bar when he begins recalling matches he attended as a younger man.

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All I can add Just Nuisance is I’d rather that the cricket is on TV to empty seats than no cricket at all. But you’re right, there’s definitely something missing. I’d say atmosphere.

How changes in the game of cricket make me wonder what the future holds

If the Boxing Day test is in Perth over here in the Eastern states we can get a sleep in after the excesses of Christmas Day.

How changes in the game of cricket make me wonder what the future holds

You’d think the game was won with a 328 score. Great effort to chase that down, it must have seemed to be daunting.

WATCH: Ireland stun England to win third ODI

Thanks Dave. It looks likely to me we will see a test scheduled somewhere else to replace Melbourne. I know it is early days but that at least allows people to probably be able to go. Mind you the word is that the tennis will go ahead without crowds in Melbs.

How changes in the game of cricket make me wonder what the future holds

Sure, although I believe the roar of an involved crowd is hard to beat in creating atmosphere and tension. I don’t mean the slurred chanting of fifty drunks in the second session but even on television you can see the collective leaping up and cheering of people. Watching the West Indies playing England it struck me how much that was missing with all those empty seats.

How changes in the game of cricket make me wonder what the future holds

That sunk to a low the day Ian Healy started reading out a promotion of The Block. Just awful.

How changes in the game of cricket make me wonder what the future holds

Yes, Jones might threaten to chuck someone in a chaff bag and have them towed out to sea. Again.

How changes in the game of cricket make me wonder what the future holds

Very possible Micko. Interesting to speculate what sized crowd there would be.

How changes in the game of cricket make me wonder what the future holds

I’m putting out the blankets and hot chocolate to sit up and watch this. When Pakistan toured Australia their fast bowling attack was considered inexperienced but with vast potential. With that tour under their belts, tough that it was, it will be interesting to see whether those fast bowlers have improved and how they perform in the English conditions.

The real test of Pakistan's young bowling and England's fragile batting

Provocative article, well done. I wonder if the West Indies will ever make it back to the frontlines of test cricket. I’ve heard there is now more investment in the facilities there to develop new players. Regarding Stuart Broad, it certainly can be argued he had a weaker lineup to bowl to. But his performances have to be seen in the context of his overall achievement of so many wickets. Plus that time he pretty much wiped the floor with Australia, 8 for 15 wasn’t it? In Australia he isn’t our favourite character but you have to respect his overall achievements.

Has Broad pulled the wool over our eyes?

I feel lucky to have witnessed these two bowlers. They are just made for English conditions. It’s hard to say whether Anderson will make it here for the next ashes. He’ll be nudging 40 by then. Still, age is just a number, or so they tell me. Perhaps Archer and Wood at their best on our hard pitches could excel.

The magnificent Stuart Broad-James Anderson pair

Imagine facing Marshall or any of those West Indian fast bowlers back then. I would have needed a lot of blood pressure medication.

Growing up with cricket

Kim Hughes was certainly someone to see. It was sad the way his captaincy ended. I’ve however heard him interviewed a couple of times and he’s a funny and outgoing person.

Growing up with cricket

I do remember South Africa being the only team that could remain competitive into a test match against the Australian teams led by Steve Waugh. They seem to adjust more quickly to our conditions than other sides too, perhaps there are similarities in the pitches of the two countries. Our domestic competition receives barely any crowd, I’ve counted less than 200 a couple of times. From your description I’m guessing the Currie Cup at least in the past brought a turn out of people which would have been good for the players.

Growing up with cricket

Thanks Jeff. After today’s announcement about the number of infections, I’m starting to wonder what will happen. It’s only July however.

Cricket Australia must get its domestic scheduling right this year

Timely article Paul. It’s been in the back of my mind. I can only guess at the logistics to put a shield season in place. Do the players gather in a hub somewhere? It’ll depend on how things are tracking regarding the c word. Without a domestic season our work will be cut out against India. Difficult for anyone to put their hand up who are currently at the level of being a fringe player. I suppose lack of match practice will also be an issue for India so we might end up with a level playing field in terms of both sides having the same problems. Wearing masks, isolating, not plonking down at a local cafe for a coffee and losing my job have all been tricky. But if the cricket is cancelled, I’m done for!

Cricket Australia must get its domestic scheduling right this year

That’s such a warm memory with your grandfather to look back on. I heard a similar story here in Melbourne about a person who never missed an AFL game for many years. One day he caught a heavy cold and announced he wasn’t up to attending. His mates were astounded he would miss a game and told him only marriage or death was an excuse. For me I’m sure the kids will look back at some of the chats and things we’ve seen at the Boxing Day test.

Growing up with cricket

Wow, you were at that 4-0 series. That is a series often discussed in our cricket history. I understand the Australians had come straight from a series against India (at least I think it was India) and they were tired. But yes, the South Africans had a great side. More often than not South Africa seems to produce such strong sides. Must be a good domestic system to keep enabling that. I see what you say about the competitive nature of the Currie Cup.

Growing up with cricket

Ha, ha, you should have organised a baby sitter for your son! No doubt like yourself I experienced a long wait to get an MCG membership. 19 years I think it was. One advantage of the SCG is you feel a bit closer to the play compared to parts of the MCG. The SCG also has the wonderful old stands. The MCG demolished theirs some years ago.

Growing up with cricket

Thank you Late News. The first session at the Boxing Day test is a good time, plenty of atmosphere and the beer hasn’t yet kicked in for much of the crowed. I’ve sat up in the top level a couple of times and it feels like a long way away. Whilst you have been twice, you have some good memories.

Growing up with cricket

Thanks for your comment Tigerbill. I imagine the atmosphere at dacca must be electric. All I can add to your comment was when visiting Old Trafford and Headingley I found the smaller grounds made me feel closer to play and you even heard what was going on more clearly. I’ll always have a soft spot for the MCG although the English grounds probably offer a more personal, up close experience.

Growing up with cricket

Bernie that is a great range of memories. I haven’t been to the GABBA and had a rough plan to go this year but the restrictions will probably put an end to that. You make an interesting point about the culture shock your wife experienced. I’ve wondered what visitors to the MCG from the sub continent must think of our antics at times. I doubt they always see the funny side. I remember chatting to some Irish people in the crowd years ago, they couldn’t believe the grandeur of the MCG. Thanks for all your recollections.

Growing up with cricket

I hope so too Insult. I know you’ll have heard this before but I worry that generations coming through are becoming so conditioned to the T20 wham, bam and result that perhaps test matches may one day will fade away. I hope to be wrong.

Growing up with cricket

Cheers Paul, that’s a nice recollection. One of my earliest memories was seeing New South Wales playing England, then called the MCC. It was in the 1974/75 season when England were being flattened by the likes of Lillee and Thommo. England had David Lloyd open the batting and they did well without having to face such a barrage. One thing that stays with me was David Lloyd being given out but called back by the NSW captain who decided the decision was incorrect. Imagine that now.

Growing up with cricket

Thanks for that comment Paul. I think the first time I went with my father play was washed out so it didn’t get me off to much of a start! What I do recall are the radio broadcasts going from different points of the garden as he went around weeding.

Growing up with cricket